Russell J. Compton

Monday, December 10, 2007

Russell J. Compton, 98, Greencastle, died Saturday at his residence.

Born in Miami County, he was the son of Willis and Effie (Overman) Compton.

He was a 1931 graduate of Manchester College, received his bachelor of divinity degree from Garrett Biblical Institute in Evanston, Ill., in 1935 and his doctorate from Yale University in 1939. He attended the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Marburg University in Germany. He was an ordained United Methodist minister.

He was the chairman of the Philosophy and Religion Department at DePauw University from 1951 until his retirement in 1974. Compton was dedicated to civil rights and social justice for all people, and was a long-time member of the NAACP. His 27 years in the Prison Visitation and Support program made him the longest-serving volunteer in the nation.

He married Susanna Gump on Aug. 31, 1935. She died in 1994.

Surviving are son, Clyde Compton and wife Karen, Ogden Dunes; five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

His parents, son John Compton, brother Lowell, and sister Jessie, also preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, Greencastle, with Rev. P.T. Wilson officiating. Interment will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery.

Visitation is 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Bittles and Hurt Funeral Home, Greencastle.

Memorials may be made to the Compton Center for Peace and Justice at DePauw University. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family in care of inbth@ .com.